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Old 04-02-2005, 12:02 AM
Ed Rasimus
Posts: n/a

On 3 Feb 2005 12:24:38 -0800, wrote:

Yeah, I've looked around on the newsgroup before asking, but it seems
most threads on this topic are regarding long-term storage. Or
regarding very expensive equipment ($50 for a nitrogen system is
expensive to me. Now. So far. Until I get more experienced and
knowledgeable and build a valueable (in effort and appreciation, not
nec' price) collection.)

You've already had a few good answers from some very knowledgeable
contributors. Let me throw in my two Lincolns worth.

First, at your stage (based on your true confessions), there's no need
to spend a lot of money on equipment--beyond a quality corkscrew.

You can get some very interesting wines and build background by
staying at the low price end. Find a nearby dealer with a broad stock
and establish a conversational relationship. Follow his/her guide.

I only just started getting into wine appreciation. Before last year my
experience has been pretty much any inexpensive white zinf'. Then I
went crazy and went all out and tried cabernet sauvingon. =) (Only to
recently find out it's kind of become the generic "safe" grape.) So,
now that I'm starting to really TASTE wine, and analyze, and pick and
choose, and build a volcabulary and experience, I'd like to also take
care in preserving wine. After all, I'm the only person in the
household who drinks wine (well, my wife will have a glass now and
then,) and so I'll usually have to put away half to 3/4 bottles into
the fridge. Even 24 hours later the taste seems to change.

I'm not sure that trying some Cabernet Sauvignon is going "all
out"--you can get cabs ranging from "two buck Chuck" to several
hundred dollar Bordeaux. For now, just explore the menu that's
available and within your budget. If you like reds, focus there. If
white is more to your liking, go there.

Buy a book or two on wine. "Wine for Dummies" is easily readable,
loaded with info and won't have you struggling to memorize the
classifications of Bordeaux or the difference between a Grand and a
Premier Cru.

So, what are some good, inexpensive suggestions for keeping an opened
bottle 2 to 3, maybe 4 days?

Cover the opening to keep the flies out. You won't damage the wines
you are starting with. Limit the retention to your own suggestion of
"2 to 3, maybe 4" days.

Since most of what you will be trying will be younger wines, you can
actually experience some of the development of the wine over time.
Does it taste better when first opened, after a couple of hours, the
next day or two days later. Some wine will change notably--not go bad,
just change.

I saw the recommendation of using half-bottles. Not bad, I'll try that,
but doesn't seem very consistant.

It will really shorten your available choices.

I also saw something on Private Preserve inert gas replacement. That
sounds like a good idea. A little expensive, for now, but if it's the
best option then I think that's worth it.
What about those $12 cheapy vacuum pump tops? Good enough to keep for a
couple of days?

Don't worry about it.

And finally, refridgeration. Good idea? Bad idea? Only in conjunction
with a particular tupe of storage? I understand refidgeration can slow
the oxidation, but, does it contribute to any other changes?

You minimize the flies in the refrigerator, but for red wine, you will
render it too cold to drink. Better just cork or cap and leave on the
counter. (I've got a couple of nice silver drop-in stoppers that I
use, but simply re-inserting the original cork will do just as well.)

Refrigeration will slow oxidation as you state, but be sure to let the
wine warm up before drinking or you'll miss most of the flavors.

Finally, don't limit yourself to Cab--get some Zinfandel (not White
Zin, but REAL zinfandel), some Syrah/Shiraz, some Sangiovese (think
Italian), some Pinot Noir, and then expand the list to other

Have fun and report back.

P.S. Start raving about the wine when you taste and pretty soon the
wife will be helping you solve the left-over problem.

Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"